in this we have a self portrait,
an artist gone political for three months in support of a candidate with a local art agenda,
they lost, of course, but they won envy-green faces, tired throats, bloated eyes and their mouths were raw for months after.
aspirations change us from time to time and we embark on something we think we believe in,
but maybe not suited for us,
and this is how we feel after being exposed to the tyranny of ambition,
of getting more of something we aren’t sure of,
when there is so much we are.
what are you sure of?
what am i sure of?
will we paint our faces in steel frames after our attempts disappoint us?
jim carrey said it quite well in a graduation speech given somewhere maharashta-like,
if we can fail at what we don’t want,
why not try at something we do?
you see how everybody is trying to get to the top,
but i don’t know where the top is,
if the universe is 14 billion years old,
and if everyone traveled at the speed of light for that long,
they still would not reach the top,
because there are only sides,
top implies bottom,
bottom implies gravitational pull,
and what’s pulling anything at the edge of the universe?
but in trying to get to the top,
everyone loses their hands and feet,
yet they continue to climb,
while the icon of peace cries,
and the tools of destruction wage on.
my only ambition is peace,
and in peace i find equality,
and in equality i do not race to get ahead,
but find a place in a line of my own choosing,
and wait patiently for my turn to greet the gatekeeper,
who places a soft kiss on my cheek,
when in passing through i wander under.
you see how cute she is, and how hopeful
even though there is very little chance of squeezing free of her frame.
this frame is a product of corruption,
not the corruption of rust and decay,
but thieves who break through and steal,
thieves whose relationships and connections get them spots first in line,
thieves whose power creates for them more power,
who grow their estates larger and larger at the expense of small others,
many of whom are those who carried us in their bellies,
fed us when we were the youngest,
didn’t abandon us when they easily could have,
didn’t beat us,
didn’t shout at us,
didn’t back us into corners with their muscles,
stalk us into places we didn’t want to go,
but couldn’t avoid.
you see she is hopeful someone will come and rescue her,
that would be me,
her and anyone else of the weak, and the weary,
dispossessed of rights, gender, access,
penises and hereditary power.
when i first saw this, i saw a big fish swallowing smaller ones,
that’s because i’m used to gobbling things up,
the younger, the weaker, the less endowed,
more profound smaller of us swimmers through life.
but the artist told me,
the woman beside me, too,
that fishes are coming out,
fishes are being created faster and faster,
faster than the machines of war,
than the boats of destruction,
so when it’s all over,
the land grab,
the oil grab,
the power grab,
the bigger house and capitalist property grab,
we frolic lazily on the beach with our doggies,
glad the era of growth has ended.